It was supposed to be the highlight of the parliament session. The opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim speech was supposed to be fiery, full of facts and figures. However, it was a downer.

Instead of his excellent oratory skills, Anwar failed again, as he had failed to form his infamous “back door” government last Sept 16.

“The Permatang Pauh is his final victory. It was the pinnacle of his political career as the opposition, after his success in Permatang Pauh his going all the way down,” said a former editor of a mainstream newspaper.

The Malay Mail in its Parliamentary Sketch column, described the deputy-Prime-Minister-turned­-opposition-leader’s speech as “a dreary mumble”.

Under the heading of “Anwar Minus the Thunder”, the writer wrote that his speech was parallel to the Deputy Tourism Minister Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Talib’s speech which is known to be full of “unending series of lurches from one abstruse concept to the next”.

In not so many words the Anwaritas themselves had to admit to their idol’s failure. Even his blog,, until today, did not carry any comment on his speech.

“He of course would blame the government for his poor performance. Anwar is good at that . . . blaming other people for his mistakes, it is a tradition he carried from his ABIM and UMNO days,” the former editor said.

Another former journalist said that Anwar was over confidence which led to his failure on Monday and Tuesday in Parliament.

“He thought his oratory skills will enable him to speak without substance in Parliament. In the past he had all these “advisors” to give him input. But now he is an empty vessel and had lost touch with the grassroots,” he added.

Another fact that contributed to Anwar’s present weakness is the success of the transition of power in UMNO.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s decision to pass the UMNO and country’s leadership to his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, had reflected that the existing leaders listen to the voice of the masses.

“It was not Anwar’s strength that enable the opposition to win but it was UMNO’s own weaknesses. Now as there is a move to rectify these weaknesses, Anwar will become obsolete,” added the journalist.

Whether the Anwar myth can still survive during the Najib’s era has yet to be seen. But the sign is clear that the Anwar’s myth is losing its strength. – OCT 15, 2008